[Xsera] Help Wanted - Font Artist

Just one way to help Xsera

Hello Everybody,

Until now, the font we've been using (named "Crystal Clear") has been perfectly adequate for our needs in Xsera. Unfortunately, some new features have added characters (including but not limited to: @, %, ^, &, *, `, ~) that are not included in Crystal Clear. We need these characters, some for obvious and some for less-than-obvious reasons.

Anyways, we need a font artist to do one of the following:

  • Recreate the original Ares font (pictures will be provided)
  • Modify Crystal Clear to contain all necessary special characters

If anybody's interested, please contact me either via PM or on irc.ambrosiasw.com, channel #xsera for details.

Alternately, if you can find a similar font to Crystal Clear that includes all of the special characters, send me the link to that font and we'll take a look at it.

Thanks,

adam_0

What kind of font does Xsera support? Dawn of Infinity used a bitmap font, like this:
Attached File font_3.png (793bytes)
Number of downloads: 26

Rats, I forgot to mention that it's a TTF, not a bitmap font. Thanks for asking for clarification.

Is there any way to extract the fonts from Ares? Or would Nathan Lamont tell you what he used? I looked into font software and creating a font from scratch seems complicated. Converting from one format to another should be easy though.

I found one called "Crystal" (probably a coincidence) you could try. It's fixed width and the zero has a diagonal line through it like in Ares.

Crystal Clear is actually weirder than the fonts in Ares, so just about anything would be an improvement.

Attached File(s)

QUOTE (NMS @ Sep 27 2009, 08:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Is there any way to extract the fonts from Ares? Or would Nathan Lamont tell you what he used? I looked into font software and creating a font from scratch seems complicated. Converting from one format to another should be easy though.

The problem is that the font was created in a similar style to the pictures (not a standard format, Mr. Lamont's proprietary format). Pallas has extracted the font IIRC, or at least we know that he can. Please contact me if you know of a way to convert a bitmap font to a .ttf easily, because from what I've tried, it's a very difficult process.

QUOTE (NMS @ Sep 27 2009, 08:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I found one called "Crystal" (probably a coincidence) you could try. It's fixed width and the zero has a diagonal line through it like in Ares.

I'll check it out, thanks for posting.

EDIT: Just tested, it looks nice and has the special characters that Xsera needs. I'll see how implementation in Xsera works later.

QUOTE (NMS @ Sep 27 2009, 08:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Crystal Clear is actually weirder than the fonts in Ares, so just about anything would be an improvement.

Agreed.

This post has been edited by adam_0 : 28 September 2009 - 11:44 AM

I dropped the font file into xsera to test it:
http://img.svr.me/xseraFontTest1.tiff

http://img.svr.me/xseraFontTest2.tiff

I find the spacing between characters to be really poor .

EDIT: The links should work now.

This post has been edited by GameFreak4321 : 28 September 2009 - 12:16 PM

First point: your avatar's messed up.

QUOTE (GameFreak4321 @ Sep 28 2009, 09:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I dropped the font file into xsera to test it:

http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/1523/xserafonttest1.tiff

http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/4540/xserafonttest2.tiff

Second point: I get 404s for both of those.

QUOTE (GameFreak4321 @ Sep 28 2009, 09:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I find the spacing between characters to be really poor.

Third point: that's what "fixed-width" means. Each character is the same size. This is how old fonts and plain text work.

QUOTE (adam_0 @ Sep 28 2009, 05:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

First point: your avatar's messed up.

Second point: I get 404s for both of those.

Third point: that's what "fixed-width" means. Each character is the same size. This is how old fonts and plain text work.

  1. I know that it is broken. Fixed that too!
  2. Whatever I do the board seems to keep changing tif to tiff in the link. Maybe I should move it off imageshack and onto my server. Done!
  3. What I meant was that it looks wierd because the width of the characters is too small. (But only on the main menu, it looks okay in the demo level.)

This post has been edited by GameFreak4321 : 28 September 2009 - 12:26 PM

QUOTE (GameFreak4321 @ Sep 28 2009, 09:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What I meant was that it looks wierd because the width of the characters is too small. (But only on the main menu, it looks okay in the demo level.)

This is probably due to the two fonts being different sizes. This can be fixed with a few easy line changes.

I haven't actually used this program, but it claims to be able to convert between font formats: http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/

After reading more about it, it turns out that converting bitmap fonts to outline fonts may not produce good results. I could try it though.

I picked a font that is fixed-width, mostly unornamented, and has a line though the zero to match the fonts in Ares as much as I could. Another font that meets those criteria is Monaco. If you don't care about those things, you can use whatever you want. Arial would be fine.

I find this website helpful for finding a font that looks a certain way: http://www.identifont.com/

Well, there's little I can do to help at this stage. Once you get to beta testing, I can help with that, though.

I'm also typing this because it's the only way I know of to subscribe to a topic. Yes, I know I'm a total noob when it comes to forums.

Good luck with this awesome project! I look forward to trying it out!

Thanks for showing interest, darthkev.

To subscribe to a topic, go to the title bar of the topic and click on the "Options" button. A drop down menu will pop up and there's an option for subscribing.

I hereby declare this thread: RESUSCITATED

Ok so here's the plan. The program that NMS suggested we use, FontForge, can probably get the job done. We need a volunteer to use FontForge to make truetype fonts from Espy Sans, and from Lamont's own handmade font.

STEP 1: Get FontForge. It lives over here.
Note that you'll need Apple's X11 installed to use it... and there are instructions on this page on how to install X11 from your OS X DVD

The FontForge tutorial describes how you can make a TrueType Font (TTF) from bitmap images. We have PNG's, not bitmaps, but hopefully FontForge won't mind... otherwise you'll have to convert the PNG's to bitmaps.
The tutorial mentions autotrace for helping convert to get vector outlines from the images of each of the characters in the font. I've never used autotrace, but hopefully it works well - because then making these TTF's shouldn't require too much effort.

STEP 2: Get the images of the fonts that Pallas Athene extracted from Ares here.

I will ask Pallas Athene to provide instructions on how to download the font images, and to let us know which of those fonts are Espy Sans and Lamont's own font.

This post has been edited by redsteven : 21 November 2009 - 10:52 PM

QUOTE (redsteven @ Nov 21 2009, 11:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The FontForge tutorial describes how you can make a TrueType Font (TTF) from bitmap images. We have PNG's, not bitmaps, but hopefully FontForge won't mind... otherwise you'll have to convert the PNG's to bitmaps.
The tutorial mentions autotrace for helping convert to get vector outlines from the images of each of the characters in the font. I've never used autotrace, but hopefully it works well - because then making these TTF's shouldn't require too much effort.

The process you're linking to assumes large enough fonts that you can trace them, but the font images are all very small. If you want something that will scale to larger sizes, you're looking at a lot more work, especially if you want something that will look good (i.e. is hinted).

QUOTE

STEP 2: Get the images of the fonts that Pallas Athene extracted from Ares here.

I will ask Pallas Athene to provide instructions on how to download the font images, and to let us know which of those fonts are Espy Sans and Lamont's own font.

Install git (using e.g. MacPorts). In a terminal, do 'git clone git://git.sfiera.net/ares-data'. You'll get an "ares-data/derived/Fonts" folder of your own.

I don't remember which fonts correspond to what, offhand. If I recall correctly, there are four fonts used in the game:

  • the "title font", used in scrolling text, loading screens, and the level selection screen;
  • the button font, used on user interface elements;
  • the message font, used in-game for displaying labels and messages in the game area; and
  • a monospace font, used on the instruments to the left of the game area.
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